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Before the English Civil War: Essays on Early Stuart by Howard Tomlinson

By Howard Tomlinson

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Sample text

But on the other hand he rejected on reasonable grounds the puritan arguments against the surplice and the sign of the cross. If these survived in the liturgy it was not because of the king's indifference. There was never much chance that the Hampton Court Conference would make the Prayer Book, or the Church, safe for delicate puritan consciences. Some of Reynolds's proposals for the modification of episcopal government were reflected in THE JACOBEAN RELIGIOUS SETTLEMENT 47 the king's list of 'things as shall be reformed', which included a surprisingly radical ruling that 'the jurisdiction of the bishops shall be somewhat limited': specifically by associating 'some grave ministers' in the processes of 'ordination, suspension, degradation etc'.

The three London representatives were Thomas Wilcox, who more than thirty years before had shared with John Field the writing of that electrifying pamphlet An admonition to the Parliament; and two younger men who had managed the campaign of the previous summer, Stephen Egerton and Henry Jacobs. The 38 BEFORE THE ENGLISH CIVIL WAR delegates drew up instructions for their spokesmen at the conference (,ten demands made by thirty reverend divines in the name of themselves and others') which carefully avoided a direct attack on episcopacy.

Thomas Sparke, for example, may have owed his place to a book in which he had defended the king's title to the throne before his accession, allegedly at some cost to himself. Patrick Galloway and his patron the Earl of Mar are very likely to have played a behind-the-scenes role. But according to a dark rumour reported after the conference by Henry Jacobs, the prelates themselves arranged the representation 'underhand'. This may explain the choice of the foreman, Reynolds, who was on good terms with Archbishop Whitgift and as Dean of Lincoln occupied an office which was one of Whitgift's own early preferments.

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